Daily Archives: January 15, 2014

Winter wonderland

We found this place for rent on the internet. We live on an Ecological Farm/Ranch, which raises beef cattle and plus they grow all the feed for cattle on it. We purchase most of our meat (pork and beef) from the local farmers. My husband buys it in halves and then he cuts it up. We make our own sausages as well. I will be posting pictures on how we do this later in this blog.

That is why growing our own veggie patch was not that far of a leap for us to becoming self-sufficient. My husband built a small green house out of scrap wood and old window frames for me. We have been growing tomatoes in it. The first year I tried to have a couple of  Bell pepper plants and eggplants in it as well. We were not successful with those. That is why we bought strawberry plants this year and placed them in it with the tomato plants. I guess that is why we had such a good harvest from our strawberry plants in the first year. We plan to build a bed for strawberries this year in the garden.

We experiment every year with different vegetables and try new crops. We are always trying improve our methods to increase production as well.  We have had limited success with our tomatoes. We have just found out that we should have cut the tops off of them to make them more bushy and we needed to fertilize them more. I wanted enough tomatoes to be able to eat fresh and can the excess. We have not had enough to that thus far. There is always this coming growing season to look forward to finally accomplishing that.

We use ecologist cow manure, horse manure, furnace ash as well as bone meal to fertilize our garden every year. We use no pesticides or chemicals. I have a few frogs that live in the rock border which surrounds our garden for insect control. 

This year we had problems with caterpillars eating our broccoli. We just hand-picked them off the plants but they kept coming back. I broke off the damaged leaves and we sprayed them with soapy water periodically. That is what saved our broccoli crop this year. Next year I am going to try to tent them in instead to protect them.

We have been discussing starting our own Chicken coop. Maybe having a turkey or two. We have been reading other blogs and tutorials on the subject. We figure we can butcher most of the chickens in the fall and freeze them. The chickens would provide eggs as well.The turkeys can be butchered every year.

I just came in from a long walk with my dogs. It is absolutely gorgeous outside.  My husband had already taken them for two walks this morning around the ponies summer pasture. Walking in knee-high snow is usually my winter work out. I’ve been missing it.  My waist line has gotten thicker without it. I end up marching with my knees raise high just to take our walk, because over half my trail is unplowed. It makes for a really good work out. The dogs run around loose sniffing the ground to track the local wildlife here. They chased each other playing with their tug rope today. We only lost their rope once in the snow for 10 minutes. The neighbors dog joined us for our walk. The dogs are now sleeping peacefully in the dog beds. I am sipping on a warm cup of coffee. Life is good.


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